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Biplob Prodhan
  • 2 months ago
  • 35
Briefly state the structural, functional and interactional sews of language

There are many possible theoretical positions about the nature of language. Here are three different views which explicitly or implicity are reflected in current approaches to language learning :
i. The structural view of language
ii. The communicative view of language
iii. The interactional view of language


The structural view of language: The structural view of language is that language is a system of structually related elements for the transmission of meaning. These elements are usally described as phonological units (phonemes), grammatical units (phrases, clauses, sentences), grammatical operations (adding, shifting, joining or transforming elements), lexical items (function words and structure words). Different theories and methods had been designed depending on this view of language. Some of the language learning methods based on this view of language are :
i. The Audiolingual method
ii. Total Physical Response
ili. The Silent Way

The communicative or functional view of language: The communicative or functional view of language is the view that language is a vehicle for the expression of functional meaning. In this case, the semantic and communicative dimensions of language are more emphasized than the grammatical charatteristics. Sociolinguistics, pragmatics and semantics are the main areas of research here. The target of language learning is to learn to express communication functions and categories of meanings. Some of the language learning approaches and methods which are based on this view of language are;
i. communicative approaches
ii. functional-notional syllabuses
iii, the natural approach

The interactional view of language: The interactional view of language sees language primarily as the means for establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships and for performing social transactions. between individuals. In our everyday activities, we use language for accomplishing various tasks such as advising, agreeing, apologizing, asking for directions and so on. To perform miscellaneous functions, learners need to know how to combine the grammatical rules and vocabulary to express the notions that perform functions. Some of the areas of research in this view of language are :
i. interactional analysis
ii. conversational analysis
iii. ethnomethodology
iv. target of language learning

The target of language learning in the interactional view is learning to initiate and maintain conversations with other people.

The understanding of the notion of language is closely related to the understanding of language learning and may provide the basis for a particular teaching method. If language is considered to have a finite number of structural items, learning the language means learning these items. If language is seen as a communicative tool, then to learn the language means to use it to perform functions.

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Biplob Prodhan
Founder of EDNOUB & Ednoub Private Program


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